Home to a rarified and almost resort-like air, the sleepy town of DANYANG (단양) is, quite simply, one of the most relaxing places in Korea. There’s little of the noise and clutter found in other urban areas, and life dawdles by at a snail’s pace – quite appropriate, really, since river snails are a local delicacy. These are dredged from Chungju Lake, a river-like expanse that curls a C-shape around the town centre; traversable by ferry, this route is Korea’s prettiest navigable inland waterway. Green, pine-covered ripples rise up from the lake – almost totally unspoilt, they make for a thoroughly enchanting backdrop. The loftiest converge at Sobaeksan, a pretty national park easily accessible from Danyang; on its cusp is Guinsa, one of the most distinctive temples in the whole of the land, and perhaps the highlight of the whole area.

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